Monday, August 29, 2011
Oh, the Nuances of Social Media!
The problem was that she was following a number of genealogists, people in my community. She doesn't appear to have anything to do with genealogy. Personally I think she was just looking for more fans to follow her. That in itself is not a problem. The problem arises as she follows more genealogists in that they appear in her side bar as "people in common." These are people that she and I are both following. If someone else where to look at her profile and try to decide whether to follow the person or not, they might receive tacit approval just by seeing my face in common with this person.
I know we are all grownups and can decide who to follow or not but honestly many people just check who is following who and make quick decisions that way. I mean I feel like I'm endorsing an advertisement or "liking" a page on Facebook. Yet in this case I'm not really giving my approval.
So what's a girl to do? I don't really mind this person following me even though I think she is just fishing for fans. But what options do I have so that I don't appear on her wall? The only option I have is to block her and then I won't appear in her "people in her circles" sidebar. This is the only way I can think of to remove the tacit approval that will lead to more followers for her.
In all honesty, blocking, just like on Twitter, is fairly harmless. It's not like I "reported" anyone which is more serious. And on Google+ you can even unblock someone later. I just wish I didn't have to take that measure for this particular reason.
This got me thinking about how I can stop this kind of thing in the future. It is possible to hide your connections on Google+. In fact, I hide all my connections except genealogists. This makes it easier for genealogists to connect and spares my non-genealogy family and friends from being followed by genealogists.
But what about these people looking for fans who raid our public circles? I was thinking about hiding the "Have Marian in circles" display so that genealogists won't find these random people and think they are genealogists. Or I could hide both that circle and my "In Marian's circles" display. But I would really hate to do that. I would like to keep the openness in social media.
For the time being I am leaving them both public. But I reserve the right to change my mind later.
How are you folks handling these nuances? Or don't you really care?